NEWS | May 8, 2019

Virginia National Guard employers recognized with ESGR awards

By Cotton Puryear JFHQ Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. — Virginia Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program, awarded the Pro Patria Awards, Extraordinary Employer Support Award, Above and Beyond Awards, and Spouse Award during the 2019 Annual Employer Awards Banquet, May 4, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia.

Guest speakers in attendance were Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, Adjutant General of Virginia, and Rear Adm. Thomas W. Luscher, Commander of Navy Reserve Forces Command.

“We need your help to get the word out to our employers that we’re sensitive to the demands we put upon them,” said Luscher. “Thank you all again for your support for all reservists and guardsmen. It’s truly a team effort that highlights the best tenants of our nation; selfless service of our active, reserve and guard forces, and the communities and employers who understand how vital they are to our navy’s survival, nation’s survival and our prosperity.”

The audience of approximately 70 people gathered in the navy history section of the Nauticus, a maritime-themed science center and museum located on the downtown waterfront in Norfolk, Virginia, adjacent to the decommissioned USS Wisconsin.

“Tonight really is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the employers,” said Williams. “When we look at what our Soldiers and Airmen do across the force, the amount of time they have to prepare, they couldn’t do that without their employers.”

WAVY 10 reporter Kara Dixon announced the winners.

Pro Patria Awards:

The Pro Patria Award is presented to those employers who demonstrate exceptional support for our national defense by adopting personnel policies that make it easier for their employees to participate in the National Guard.

Intrepid Solutions and Services, Inc. Sterling, Virginia
Nominator: Master Sergeant Robert Callaway,
Virginia Army National Guard

Virginia Department of Transportation Salem District, Salem, Virginia
Nominator: Staff Sargent Donald Martin,
Virginia Army National Guard

Extraordinary Employer Support Award:

This award was created to recognize sustained employee support. Only prior recipients of the Secretary of Defense employer Support Freedom Award or the Pro Patria Award, who has demonstrated sustained support for three years after receiving one of those awards are eligible for consideration for this award.

Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, Chesterfield Virginia
Nominator: Captain Brian Eromenok
Virginia Army National Guard

Above and Beyond Awards:

This award recognizes employers at the local level who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Virginia’s 24th Judicial District – Lynchburg, Virginia
Nominator: The Honorable Judge Cary Payne
Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, Virginia Army National Guard

Strategic Analysis, Inc., Arlington, Virginia
Nominator: Specialist Brandee L. Garvin
Virginia Army National Guard

JW’s Express- Farmville, Virginia
Nominator: Master Sgt. Otis L. Brown
Virginia Army National Guard

Spouse Award:

The spouse of a Reservist or Guardsman may also nominate their boss for the Patriot Award. Though not required by law, many employers voluntarily assist Guard and Reserve spouses, who often share the challenges of military service. Childcare, managing the household, and work schedules often have to be adjusted when one spouse leaves to serve our country.

District 8 South Boston Probation and Parole, South Boston, VA
Spouse: Shiletia Pettus
Sergeant Leonard Pettus
Virginia Army National Guard

ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about Virginia ESGR, visit

News Archive by Category

All Entries